The Newest EdTech Apps: Our Favorite Picks for Students

With classrooms growing increasingly more technology-oriented, it makes sense that developers latch onto the education sector when creating inspired new applications. The past year (roughly speaking) saw many different launches aiming to keep students (and, in some cases, teachers) better prepared and informed for whatever academia hurls their way. Like these!

  1. Khan Academy:

    The multimedia extravaganza overflows with high-quality video lessons in most academic subjects — especially math and the sciences — and stands at the forefront of the burgeoning trend toward open source education. Developers also included detailed study prep advice just to be sweetie pies.

  2. iTunes U:

    For iDevice users, the funtimes freebie iTunes U brings full classes and learning materials from top-notch colleges and universities like MIT and Oxford as well as institutions like the Library of Congress. Another entry celebrating edtech’s overlaps with open source initiatives.

  3. Marlee Signs:

    Learn all the basics of sign language from hearing-impaired, Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin’s extremely helpful videos available for iOS. While many reviewers discuss how they cannot fully replace working with a coach, they still tout these free, open-source lessons from an experienced professional as wholly valuable and viable.


    This new-ish online app sets up virtual classrooms where students of all backgrounds sign up for free or at-cost classes and full courses with experts and professionals. Unlike many interactive education platforms, this one unfolds in real-time and allows participants to consult with professors and their classmates as face-to-face as webcams get.

  5. Boundless:

    Over the past year, Boundless has connected online and device-carrying students with thousands of essential study resources, including complete textbooks. Best of all, their offerings come at absolutely no cost, making it perfect for the cash-crunched college kids out there.

  6. ClassOwl:

    Developed by Stanford students in 2011 (OK, we’re stretching the “newest,” but some warrant exceptions), this integrative organizer keeps track of assignments, events, and classes and offers up suggestions about best prioritizing obligations. Its intuitive system not only reminds kiddos of incoming deadlines but offers up personal assistance in learning how to best manage life’s little stressors.

  7. myHomework Student Planner:

    Available across most platforms, the handy myHomework provides an all-in-one planner for students on the go, as one can probably tell from the title. Schedule classes, set up due date reminders, sync, and even receive messages from connected teachers!

  8. Duolingo:

    Crowdsourcing and collaboration entice many toward online education initiatives, and Duolingo puts these concepts toward “translat[ing] the web.” Participants pick up free foreign language lessons in exchange for helping others translate websites and documents into their native tongue.

  9. iBooks Author:

    iBooks Author targets individuals hoping to compile and share lavish multimedia textbooks, though it enjoys applications amongst the student population. For one thing, the app allows them to create some beautiful, educational, book-like presentations on their iPads for creative, unique assignments.

  10. Project Noah:

    Social media meets citizen science in this biology-oriented site (with Android and iPhone apps) asking participants to upload animal, plant, and fungi photos for the pros to explore. If they can’t identify a particular specimen, the community chips in to offer suggestions, and everyone learns a little something along the way.

  11. ShowMe:

    A sterling example of merging crowdsourced content with open source philosophies, ShowMe acts as an iPad-based whiteboard for quick, easy, and painless presentations. Students not only show off their multimedia skills to their classes, but the site wants them to upload completed projects so others may learn from them.

  12. History: Maps of the World:

    Explore the world through interactive maps illustrating geopolitical and geographic shifts over time. Users peruse the various cartographies and read up on the historical (or, as the case may be, scientific) significance of each major change through text and ” in the future ” other media.

  13. Learnist Education:

    This is a new social media site (now in beta) inspired by the pinboard craze Pinterest initially launched. The education category at Learnist collects educational materials from students and teachers worldwide who want to contribute to humanity’s overarching knowledge without charging anything.

  14. Virtual Frog Dissection:

    Often hailed as a wonderful (and cheaper) alternative to formaldehyde-stinking amphibian corpses. For iPad-equipped classrooms and individuals, it makes science class run just as smoothly without compromising on the quality of understanding how the body works.

  15. Inspiration Maps:

    The old web app now presents itself on the iPad device, allowing for outlines and maps and other structures meant to get ideas down on … screen. Inspiration keeps projects organized and streamlined while ensuring those creative sparks don’t fizzle and pop into oblivion.

  16. Haiku Deck:

    Set up gorgeous slides for sharing presentations, writing stories, and mapping ideas with Haiku Deck’s simple, user-friendly interface. Best of all, said presentations, stories, and mind maps involve a right fair amount of multimedia for greater engagement and knowledge retention.

Posted on 12/12/12 | by Staff Writers | in Resources | No Comments »

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